Cramerton bridge closure to last over a year

Cramerton bridge closure to last over a year

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by RAD BERKY / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @RadBerkywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 11:20 PM

CRAMERTON, N.C. -- There are usually three ways to drive in and out of the Gaston County town of Cramerton, but now there are only two.

The 60-year-old Lakewood Road Bridge was shut down to traffic by the Department of Transportation on Thursday so it could be demolished and replaced.

"Oh it's terrible," said Michele Tate as she sat in traffic waiting to turn onto Market Street -- which is now one of the only ways left to get into town.

Another driver, Cindy Wrenn, said she did not know how she was going to cope with the detours around the bridge.

"It will make me late to work a lot of mornings," she said.

Town Manager Michael Peoples said police and firefighters already have plans in place to deal with getting into neighborhoods so nobody will be cut off from help.

Schools in town are also having to make some changes.

"For schools we've notified principals and, of course, from an administrative level they have prepared for that through rerouting of buses," Peoples said.

Kathleen Hover is the owner of the Center Street Tavern Restaurant. She, like other business owners, is not sure yet what affect the closure and detours will have on their bottom line.

"We saw maybe a little bit of a slowdown at lunch. People aren't sure which direction to go yet," said Hover.

The DOT said the bridge is structurally deficient, meaning it is in such poor condition it can not handle the weight of modern day traffic.

The DOT is hoping to have the new bridge in place by November of 2013. 

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